Kansas City Star columnist Steve Rose, a guy who consistently lies about and attacks conservatives (it doesn’t matter whether this issue is economic conservatism or pro-life law enforcement), recently dedicated a column to another conservative candidate (James Nelson) and me; we’re running for positions on the local community college board. It’s a race where three candidates can win at-large positions, and so that’s why Rose wrote his absurd article about both of us. Because Nelson and I oppose JCCC’s recent illegal expulsion of four students (a federal judge over-turned JCCC), because Nelson and I oppose the effort by the well-funded”diversity” leaders at JCCC to illegally silence critics of radical Islam, and because we want money to be more efficiently spent, Rose falsely claims that we think the college is a “lump of coal.” This was Rose’s opening line:
While others see a crown jewel in our Johnson County Community College, two trustee candidates, Ben Hodge and his candidate protégé, James Nelson, see a lump of coal.
For the record, Nelson is his own man and own candidate; I did not “draft him,” nor is he my “protege.” This is a classic example — most likely seen in areas all around the country — of Rose being accustomed to, until recent years, having a large amount of influence through the once-highly-read paper started by his father. I don’t think Rose realizes how out of touch his comments and positions are, in the modern era of better news information (almost completely due to the influence of the Internet).
While Rose is most certainly liberal, he’s more pro-establishment than anything else — the guy will say anything to defend his friends, and to lie about his enemies. He treats local government like a deity that shall never be criticized or questioned — that’s a ridiculous, un-American, and anti-press position to take towards government. In Rose’s world, a school — a government body, a government program — is either a “crown jewel” or a “lump of coal.” And that’s just nonsense: let’s recognize the good and acknowledge the bad, so that we can make improvements.
Rose’s old paper (The Johnson County Sun) has little influence these days, and Rose is now a twice-a-week columnist for the McClatchy-owned Kansas City Star, a winner of Planned Parenthood’s “Maggie Award” for its support of George Tiller’s illegal late-term abortions, and the paper’s defense of the successful efforts by the unaccountable Kansas courts and Governor Kathleen Sebelius to block enforcement of Kansas’ law against late-term abortions (in short: every known late-term abortion was performed because of a non-life-threatening “condition”).
Today, The Star published my response, which follows in entirety.
JCCC candidate responds to column
Hodge responds to column
I’m a Republican candidate for the Johnson County Community College Board. I’m writing to Steve Rose’s inaccurate description of my views on education (“They see JCCC as a lump of coal,” March 2).
First, let’s remember Rose’s past inconsistencies. He once described Sam Brownback as a “sham.” Later apologizing, he wrote, “No one is more truthful.” Rose supported liberal Democrat Dennis Moore for an entire decade, until 2010, the same time it was clear that a Republican would win the congressional seat.
I completely support JCCC’s efforts to provide affordable, quality education. I applaud college employees.
What I do not support: the idea that administrators can ignore laws, mistreat people and waste money, as long as it’s for “education.”
JCCC illegally expelled four nursing students. It literally took a federal court to protect and reinstate the students.
Shortly after, board members wasted $125,000 of our tax money on “re-branding experts” and even tried to stop videotaping public meetings.
JCCC punishes students for criticizing radical Islam – blatant First Amendment violations in the name of “diversity.”
Multiple women accused former President Charles Carlsen of sexual harassment. While I believe the women, Rose defends Carlsen. Rose doesn’t tell you that, while Carlsen was college president, the Johnson County Community College Foundation named Rose a “Johnson Countian of the Year.”
You can learn more about my goals to respect students, taxpayers and all school employees at www.BenjaminHodge.com.
(Related RedState diary: “Kansas editorial site ‘Kaw and Border’ defends Benjamin Hodge after false KC Star column”)
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters,the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).